GOP state Sen. Mark Miloscia, chairman of the Senate Accountability and Reform Committee, is calling for Democrat State Auditor Troy Kelley to testify on the ongoing federal investigation into his past business dealings and explain why he has maintained silence on the topic. Sen. Miloscia is asking Kelley to come before his committee Wednesday, April 1st via a letter.
Citing the “criminal and ethical investigations” being conducted by “several federal agencies,” Sen. Miloscia emphasizes the importance of Kelley accepting his invitation. Sen. Miloscia writes,
“As Auditor, you were elected to serve as Washington’s guardian of accountability and fraud prevention. Lawmakers and citizens rely on the Auditor to inform us of how our state programs are performing. The reports of federal investigations centered on you and your business dealings raise questions about the public’s trust in your ability to carry out this role effectively.”
Of particular concern to Miloscia is Kelley’s continued refusal to address his connection to the federal investigation despite calls from media outlets and lawmakers to come clean. As Shift reported, Kelley released a single written statement after news of the scandal broke. He claims to be “puzzled” by the federal investigation. Sen. Miloscia,
“Your refusal to respond to these reports publicly has done little to ease these concerns and casts doubt on your leadership and management of the State Auditor’s Office and its function as the independent agency responsible for accountability. These concerns must be addressed so that the legislature can decide the appropriate policy and budget needs of the State Auditor’s Office.”
Lawmakers do have the power to compel Kelley to testify should he refuse Sen. Miloscia’s request. According to MyNorthwest.com, the committee will discuss its options at next week’s meeting.
As Shift pointed out, Jay Inslee hasn’t been too forthcoming concerning his knowledge of the federal investigation into Kelley either. Inslee claims he found out about the investigation when news of it broke last week—here’s why that’s likely not true. Given Sen. Miloscia’s invitation and Inslee’s denial, it seems relevant for media outlets to ask whether or not Inslee supports the state Senate’s efforts to get Kelley to testify and come clean.
You can read the full letter here.